PLAINVIEW, Texas (April 26, 2013) – What more would you expect from the final Sooner Athletic Conference doubleheader series at Wilder Field between rivals No.5 Lubbock Christian University and Wayland Baptist University? The Chaparrals matched a program single-game record with nine home runs and the two teams combined for 14 home runs, as LCU won the second game of a doubleheader 20-16 to clinch second place in the conference. The game followed a 7-3 Pioneer victory in the opener at a windy Wilder Field Friday.
The Chaps had a trio of home runs from Brett Kauten and Joel Lutz in the game, and also received homers from Christian Vazquez, Brandon Wilson and Wigberto Nevarez. The two teams combined for 14 home runs, as Wayland had homers from five different individuals. The nine home runs matched their record performance on Apr. 30, 2010 in which they had nine at Southern Nazarene in a crazy 27-16 win with teams combining for 15 homers. The homers match Arizona Christian's output of nine a week ago for the single-game high for this season in the NAIA (NAIA all-time single game record is 14).
LCU had three home runs in the first inning, started off by Vazquez on the second pitch of the game. Wilson and Lutz connected on back-to-back shots in the inning marking their second back-to-back set of homers on the season. It was part of a six-run jamboree in the first inning. LCU followed sending their first seven batters to the plate in the second inning before the Pioneers could record an out. The Chaps scored seven runs off seven hits in the inning and led 13-0. Gabriel De La Cruz hit WBU's first homer in the second inning and they cut the deficit to 13-3. The Chaps answered in the third inning with four more runs off a grand slam by Kauten to lead 17-3. Kauten and Lutz eventually helped LCU lead 20-5 (fifth inning) before the Pioneers made things interesting. WBU had a pair of homers in the fifth inning as part of a six-run inning off five hits. Down to their final out in the bottom of the seventh, the Pioneers took advantage of two Chap errors and sent seven batters to the plate with two outs. It led to five runs before Logan Burch struck out Mark Davis to end the madness.
The Chaps out-hit WBU 18-14 in the game, with 11 extra-base hits. Kauten, who went 4-for-5, had a triple to go along with his three homers. He finished the game with nine runs-batted-in, which is one off the LCU record (LCU's Britt Harper drove in 10 runs with a two-run homer and a pair of grand slams in a 24-3 win at Eastern New Mexico). Kauten's total of nine RBI matches Nevarez total from Mar. 28 at St. Gregory's. Lutz, whose trio of home runs places him with 15 on the season, finished the game 3-for-5 with five RBI. Wilson was 2-for-3 with three RBI.
Jarret Porter went 4.1 innings for LCU and claimed the win to improve to 8-3 on the season. WBU's Jose Urena only lasted 0.1 innings in the start and fell to 4-4 with the loss.
Kauten provided the first run of the opener with his 14th home run of the season for the Chaps. A solo shot to end a string of 12 consecutive games without a home run for the Chaps leading long ball hitter. The Chaps 1-0 lead did not last long, as in the bottom of the third inning, Bernie Rosario hit a bases loaded double to score all three runners on base and WBU took a 3-1 lead. Wilson led off the fourth inning with a single and Lutz followed with a double to set up a run with Wilson scoring on a Brennyn Smith groundout. The Chaps tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth inning with Kauten scoring off a pair of Pioneer errors. The Chaps loaded the bases with one out, but were unable to take the lead. The Pioneers regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-run homer by Johnny Hendrixson for a 5-3 lead. They added an insurance run in the sixth inning with a solo shot over the left field wall by Gregg Vanaklasen. They made it 7-3 with back-to-back doubles by De La Cruz and Chris Buitron.
Wilson led LCU at the plate with a pair of hits going 2-for-3. Derek Loera suffered the loss to fall to 8-4. He went 5.1 innings and allowed seven runs off nine hits. Ryan Downs went the complete game for WBU and allowed three runs off six hits to improve to 3-5 this season.
Four homers were produced on the day for Kauten, who now has a NAIA-leading 17 on the season. He ended the afternoon with 10 RBI in the doubleheader.
The Chaps moved to 38-14 with the doubleheader split and 18-9 in the SAC. The win in the second game clinched a second place finish for the Chaps in the SAC regular season standings. The SAC is once again doing a two-site conference tournament, with two pools of four teams. One pool hosted by Oklahoma City and the other by Oklahoma Baptist. The Chaps will serve as a top-seed for the pool in Shawnee, Okla. hosted by OBU. Before the teams get into SAC Tournament play, they will close out the regular season Saturday at 2 p.m. at Hays Field. Seniors will be honored prior to the game and it will also serve as the final SAC regular season game for the Chaparrals and the final SAC regular season meeting against WBU (19-33, 10-16).